Unnatural Death: Confessions of a Medical Examiner Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Michael Baden
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What drug does Baden note is invisible on the autopsy table?

2. What case does Baden believe was a triumph for forensic medicine in 1910?

3. What was missing from the body of the bishop on Flight 66?

4. During Chapter Two, what do the doctors at the table of the woman who died believe was her cause of deathf?

5. Which autopsies are done incompetently much of the time?

Short Essay Questions

1. Summarize Baden's beliefs about what the DA expects an ME to do during autopsy, when issuing a cause of death or other findings.

2. Describe why Baden believes the dead woman at the fund raiser and the dead baby in the impoverished apartment represent the inequalities of life.

3. What was Humes' excuse about the faulty autopsy, and is this excuse valid?

4. Describe how Baden explains why the father of the female drug addict in Chapter Two has little emotion.

5. Explain what Baden notes occurs by the French Revolution as a way to bring bodies to medical schools for science.

6. Describe the symptoms of strangulation, as seen during autopsy.

7. What does Baden note in Chapter One is the price of fame when a celebrity dies, and why?

8. Describe briefly the position of coroner during the reign of King Richard I.

9. What is psychosis with exhaustion, according to Baden?

10. Explain how the body of the mafioso was identified.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the Mary Beth Tinning case, nine children died before someone thought to question the parents of the children. MEs, hospital staff, neighbors, friends, social services, and others all had the same information, but refused to question the situation.

Part 1.) Explain the circumstances that allowed this tragedy to unfold.

Part 2.) Discuss the SIDS diagnosis, in terms of why it is seldom questioned.

Part 3.) Write a brief opinion statement, noting whether you believe the system is partially responsible for these deaths, and why.

Essay Topic 2

There are several cases in the book where individuals take part in the death of another person, but are determined to be innocent of wrongdoing. These cases include the case of Daphne Mellon, the doctor and nurse in Chapter 10, and the Sutton Place banker, Robert. Choose one of these cases, and discuss the following:

1.) What was the cause of death for the victim?

2.) What were the circumstances surrounding their death?

3.) Why was no one convicted of their murder?

4.) Do you think that the person(s) involved in the victim's death should have been brought to trial? Why or why not? What is the difference between your chosen case, and the case of Cathy Smith, who served time for giving John Belushi his last drug injection? Why was she brought to justice, but the people in your chosen case were not? What does this say about the current system?

Be sure to go into specific detail about why these deaths were considered accidents, even though someone else was present, or contributed to the death.

Essay Topic 3

In Chapter 1 of the book, Baden discusses the concept of celebrity death, and the effect of a flawed autopsy on the perception of foul play surrounding the death. Do you think conspiracy theories are derived from the life of the celebrity, or the circumstances surrounding their death, or both? Why? What aspects of life or death help frame a conspiracy theory following death? Why do some celebrities suffer such beliefs after their death and some do not? Based on this, do you think forensic science can have an effect on these ideas? Why or why not? What does this say about forensic science?

(see the answer keys)

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